Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > William Shakespeare > Othello.
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John Bartlett, comp. (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.
 
William Shakespeare. (1564-1616)
 
Othello.
 
 
1
    That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 1.
2
    The bookish theoric.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 1.
3
    ’T is the curse of service,
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to the first.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 1.
4
    We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow’d.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 1.
5
    Whip me such honest knaves.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 1.
6
    I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 1.
7
    You are one of those that will not serve God, if the devil bid you.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 1.
8
    The wealthy curled darlings of our nation.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 2.
9
    Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approv’d good masters,
That I have ta’en away this old man’s daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her:
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech, 1
And little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace:
For since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field,
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle,
And therefore little shall I grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish’d tale deliver
Of my whole course of love.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
10
    Her father loved me; oft invited me;
Still question’d me the story of my life,
From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have passed.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he bade me tell it:
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field,
Of hair-breadth ’scapes i’ the imminent deadly breach,
Of being taken by the insolent foe
And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence
And portance in my travels’ history;
Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven,
It was my hint to speak,—such was the process;
And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear 2
Would Desdemona seriously incline.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
  
  
  
11
    And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer’d. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs;
She swore, in faith, ’t was strange, ’t was passing strange,
’T was pitiful, ’t was wondrous pitiful;
She wish’d she had not heard it, yet she wish’d
That Heaven had made her such a man; she thank’d me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
12
    I do perceive here a divided duty.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
13
    The robb’d that smiles, steals something from the thief.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
14
    The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
My thrice-driven bed of down.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
15
    I saw Othello’s visage in his mind.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
16
    Put money in thy purse.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
17
    The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
18
    Framed to make women false.
          Othello. Act i. Sc. 3.
19
    One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 1.
20
    For I am nothing, if not critical.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 1.
21
    I am not merry; but I do beguile
The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 1.
22
    She that was ever fair and never proud,
Had tongue at will, and yet was never loud.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 1.
23
    She was a wight, if ever such wight were,—
Des. To do what?
Iago. To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.
Des. O most lame and impotent conclusion!
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 1.
24
    You may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 1.
25
    If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have waken’d death!
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 1.
26
    Egregiously an ass.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 1.
27
    I have very poor and unhappy brains for drinking.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
28
    Potations pottle-deep.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
29
    King Stephen was a worthy peer,
  His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence all too dear,—
  With that he called the tailor lown. 3
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
30
    Silence that dreadful bell: it frights the isle
From her propriety.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
31
    Your name is great
In mouths of wisest censure.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
32
    Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
33
    Cassio, I love thee;
But never more be officer of mine.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
34
    Iago. What, are you hurt, lieutenant?
Cas. Ay, past all surgery.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
35
    Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
36
    O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
37
    O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains!
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
38
    Cas. Every inordinate cup is unbless’d, and the ingredient is a devil.
Iago. Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used.
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
39
    How poor are they that have not patience!
          Othello. Act ii. Sc. 3.
40
    Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul,
But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again. 4
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
41
    Speak to me as to thy thinkings,
As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughts
The worst of words.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
42
    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’t is something, nothing;
’T was mine, ’t is his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
43
    O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
44
    But, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly 5 loves!
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
45
    Poor and content is rich and rich enough.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
46
    To be once in doubt
Is once to be resolv’d.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
47
    If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings,
I ’ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To prey at fortune.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
48
    I am declined
Into the vale of years.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
49
    O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others’ uses.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
50
    Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
51
    Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
52
    I swear ’t is better to be much abused
Than but to know ’t a little.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
53
    He that is robb’d, not wanting what is stolen,
Let him not know ’t, and he ’s not robb’d at all.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
54
    O, now, for ever
Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!
Farewell the plumed troop and the big wars
That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!
And, O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove’s dread clamours counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello’s occupation ’s gone!
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
55
    Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
56
    No hinge nor loop
To hang a doubt on.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
57
    On horror’s head horrors accumulate.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
58
    Take note, take note, O world,
To be direct and honest is not safe.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
59
    But this denoted a foregone conclusion.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
60
    Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,
For ’t is of aspics’ tongues!
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
61
    Like to the Pontic sea,
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,
Till that a capable and wide revenge
Swallow them up.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 3.
62
    Our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.
          Othello. Act iii. Sc. 4.
63
    To beguile many, and be beguil’d by one.
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 1.
64
    They laugh that win. 6
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 1.
65
    But yet the pity of it, Iago! O Iago, the pity of it, Iago!
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 1.
66
    I understand a fury in your words,
But not the words.
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 2.
67
    Steep’d me in poverty to the very lips.
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 2.
68
    But, alas, to make me
A fixed figure for the time of scorn
To point his slow unmoving finger 7 at!
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 2.
69
    Patience, thou young and rose-lipp’d cherubin.
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 2.
70
    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.
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 2.
71
    O Heaven, that such companions thou ’ldst unfold,
And put in every honest hand a whip
To lash the rascals naked through the world!
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 2.
72
    ’T is neither here nor there.
          Othello. Act iv. Sc. 3.
73
    It makes us or it mars us.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 1.
74
    Every way makes my gain.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 1.
75
    He hath a daily beauty in his life.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 1.
76
    This is the night
That either makes me or fordoes me quite.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 1.
77
    And smooth as monumental alabaster.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
78
    Put out the light, and then put out the light:
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore
Should I repent me; but once put out thy light,
Thou cunning’st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat
That can thy light relume.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
79
    So sweet was ne’er so fatal.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
80
    Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
Had stomach for them all.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
81
    One entire and perfect chrysolite.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
82
    Curse his better angel from his side,
And fall to reprobation.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
83
    Every puny whipster.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
84
    Man but a rush against Othello’s breast,
And he retires.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
85
    I have done the state some service, and they know ’t.
No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice. Then, must you speak
Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
Perplex’d in the extreme; of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicinal gum.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
86
    I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him, thus.
          Othello. Act v. Sc. 2.
 
Note 1.
Though I be rude in speech.—2 Cor. xi. 6. [back]
Note 2.
”These things to hear” in Singer. [back]
Note 3.
Though these lines are from an old ballad given in Perry’s Reliques, they are much altered by Shakespeare, and it is his version we sing in the nursery. [back]
Note 4.
For he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again.
Venus and Adonis. [back]
Note 5.
”Fondly” in Singer and White; “soundly” in Staunton. [back]
Note 6.
Cervantes: Don Quixote, part ii. chap. i. [back]
Note 7.
”His slow and moving finger” in Knight and Staunton. [back]
 

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