by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 6

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Transported with no worse nor better guard
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor,
125If this be known to you and your allowance,
We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs.
But if you know not this my manners tell me
We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe
That, from the sense of all civility,
130I thus would play and trifle with your reverence.
Your daughter (if you have not given her leave)
I say again, hath made a gross revolt,
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes
In an extravagant and wheeling stranger
135Of here and everywhere. Straight satisfy yourself.
If she be in her chamber or your house,
Let loose on me the justice of the state
For thus deluding you.
approval, then we’ve been very rude to bother you like this. But if you didn’t know about it, then you were wrong to get mad at us. I’d never play pranks on you. If you didn’t allow your daughter to do what she’s doing, then she’s rebelling against you. She’s throwing her life away on some stranger. Go ahead, see for yourself if she’s in her bedroom. If she is, you can sue me for lying to you.


    Strike on the tinder, ho!
Give me a taper, call up all my people!
140This accident is not unlike my dream,
Belief of it oppresses me already.
Light, I say, light!


Light the candles! Wake up my whole household! I dreamt about this. I’m starting to worry it’s true. Give me some light!
Exit above


    Farewell, for I must leave you.
It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
145To be producted (as, if I stay, I shall)
Against the Moor. For I do know the state
(However this may gall him with some check)
Cannot with safety cast him, for he’s embarked
With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars
150(Which even now stand in act) that, for their souls,
Another of his fathom they have none
To lead their business. In which regard,


It’s time for me to say goodbye to you. It would be inappropriate—dangerous, even—for me to be seen working against the Moor, as I would if I stayed. The Venetian government might reprimand him for this, but it can’t safely get rid of him, since it needs him urgently for the imminent Cyprus wars. They couldn’t find another man with his abilities to lead their armed forces—not if their souls depended on it. I hate him, but I’ve got to show him signs of loyalty