3. SCENE III. Venice. A council chamber.
Virtue! a fig! 'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus.
Our bodies are gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners;
so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and
weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it
with many, either to have it sterile with idleness or manured
with industry; why, the power and corrigible authority of this
lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale
of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness
of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions:
But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings,
our unbitted lusts; whereof I take this, that you call love, to
be a sect or scion.
It cannot be.
It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will.
Come, be a man: drown thyself! drown cats and blind puppies. I
have professed me thy friend, and I confess me knit to
thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness; I could
never better stead thee than now. Put money in thy purse; follow
thou the wars; defeat thy favour with an usurped beard; I say,
put money in thy purse. It cannot be that Desdemona should long
continue her love to the Moor,--put money in thy purse,--nor he
his to her: it was a violent commencement, and thou shalt see an
answerable sequestration;--put but money in thy purse.--These
Moors are changeable in their wills:--fill thy purse with money:
the food that to him now is as luscious as locusts shall be to
him shortly as acerb as the coloquintida. She must change for
youth: when she is sated with his body, she will find the error
of her choice: she must have change, she must: therefore put
money in thy purse.--If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a
more delicate way than drowning. Make all the money thou canst;
if sanctimony and a frail vow betwixt an erring barbarian and a
supersubtle Venetian be not too hard for my wits and all the
tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her; therefore make money. A pox
of drowning thyself! it is clean out of the way: seek thou rather
to be hanged in compassing thy joy than to be drowned and go