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Enter an Officer with a Sailor.



Of A messenger from the galleys.

Now; the business?
Sailor. The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes;
So was I bid report here to the state,
By seignior Angelo.

Duke. How say you by this change ?

1 Sen. This cannot be, By no assay of reason;' 'tis a pageant, To keep us in false gaze.

When we consider The importancy of Cyprus to the Turk; And let ourselves again but understand, That, as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes, So may he with more facile question? bear it, [For that it stands not in such warlik: brace, But altogether lacks the abilities That Rhodes is dressed in ;-if we make thought of this, We must not think the Turk is so uuskilful, To leave that latest which concerns him first; Neglecting an attempt of case, and gain, To wake, and wage,' a danger profitless.]

Duke. Nay, in all confidence, he's not for Rhodes. Off. Here is more news.

Enter a Messenger: Mess. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious, Steering with due course towards the isle of Rhodes, Ilave there injointed them with an alter-fleet.

1 Sen. Ay, so I thought.-llow many, as you guess ?

Mess. Of thirty sail ; and now do they restem Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance Their purposes toward Cyprus.—Seignior Montano, Your trusty and most valiant servitor,


1 “Bring it to the test, it will be found counterfeit.” 2 That he may carry it with less dispute.

3 i. e. in such state of defence. To arm was called to brace on the armor. The seven following lines were added since the first edition in quarto, 1622.

4 To wake is to undertake. To wage law (in the common acceptation) seems to be to follow, to urge, drive on, or prosecute the law or lawsuits. “ Write from us to him, post, post-haste, dispatch." 2 It was part of the policy of the Venetian state to employ strangers, and even Moors, in their wars. 3 Steevens would read this line thus:

you thus,

With his free duty recommends
And prays you to believe him.

Duke. Tis certain then for Cyprus.-
Marcus Lucchese, is he not in town?

1 Sen. He's now in Florence. Duke. Write from us; wish him post-post-haste;

despatch. 1 Sen. Here comes Brabantio, and the valiant Moor.


Officers. Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you Against the general enemy Ottoman." I did not see you ; welcome, gentle seignior;

[To BRABANTIO. We lacked your counsel and your help to-night.

Bra. So did I yours. Good your grace, pardon me;
Neither my place, nor aught I heard of business,
Hath raised me from my bed; nor doth the general

care 3
Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Is of so floodgate and o’erbearing nature,
That it engluts and swallows other sorrows,
And it is still itself.

Duke. Why, what's the matter?
Bra. My daughter! O my daughter !

Dead ?

Ay, to me; She is abused, stolen from me, and corrupted By spells and medicines bought of mounte banks. For nature so preposterously to err, 1 i. e." desire him to make all possible haste.” The folio reads:

“Raised me from bed; nor doth the general care—" omitting Hath and my, which he considers playhouse interpolations.

4 By the Venetian law the giving love-potions was highly criminal, as appears in the Code “ Della Promission de Maletico," cap. xvii. Det Maleficii et Herbarie.


Stood in your

Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,
Sans witchcraft could not-

Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul proceeding,
Ilath thus beguiled your daughter of herseli,
And you of her, the bloody book of law
You shall yourself read in the bitter letter,
After your own sense ; yea, though our proper son

action.” Bra.

Humbly I thank your grace.
Here is the man, this Moor; whom now, it seems,
Your special mandate, for the state affairs,
Hath hither brought.

Duke and Sen. We are very sorry for it.
Duke. What, in your own part, can you say to this?

[To OTHELLO Bra. Nothing, but this is so.

Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors,
My very noble and approved 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 3 3
Hath this extent, no more.

Rude am I in my speech, And little blessed with the set 4 phrase of

peace ; For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used Their dearest actions 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, unvarnished tale deliver ON my

whole course of love; what drugs, what charms, What conjuration, and what mighty magic, (For such proceeding I am charged withal,) I won his daughter with.

| This line is not in the first quarto.
? "Were the man exposed to your charge or accusation."
3 The main, the whole, unextenuated.
4 The folio reads, “soft phrase of peace.”

That is, in modern lun rungo, thi ir best erertion. 6 The word with, supplied in the second folio, is wanting in the older copies.

years, of


A maiden never bold;
Of spirit so stil! and quiet, that her motion
Blushed at herself; and she,-in spite of nature,
country, credit, every thing,

To fall in love with what she feared to look on!
It is a judgment maimed, and most imperfect,
That will confess-perfection so could err
Against all rules of nature; and must be driven
To find out practices of cunning hell,
Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood,
Or with some dram conjured to this effect,
He wrought upon her. .

To vouch this, is no proof;
Without more certain and more overt test,
Than these thin habits, and poor likelihoods
Of modern seeming, do prefer against him.

1 Sen. But, Othello, speak.
Did you by indirect and forced courses
Subdue and poison this young maid's affections ?
Or came it by request, and such fair question
As soul to soul affordeth ?

I do beseech you,
Send for the lady to the Sagittary,3
And let her speak of me before her father.
If you do find me foul in her report,
The trust, the office, I do hold of you,
Not only take away, but let your sentence
Even fåll upon my life.

Fetch Desdemona hither.
Oth. Ancient, conduct them; you best know the

place.- [Exeunt lago and Attendants. And till she come, as truly 5 as to Heaven

1 Shakspeare, like other writers of his age, frequently uses the personal instead of the neutral pronoun.

2 i. e, weak show of slight appearance. Modern is frequently used for trifling, slight, or trivial, by Shakspeare.

3 The sign of the fictitious creature so called. See Troilus and Cressida, Act v. Sc. 5.

4 This line is wanting in the first quarto.

5 The first quarto reads, as faithful: the next line is omitted in that copy.


my life,

I do confess the vices of my blood,
So justly to your grave ears I'll present
How I did thrive in this fair lady's love,
And she in mine.

Duke. Say it, Othello.

Oth. Her father loved me; oft invited me; Still questioned me the story of From year to year; the battles, sieges,, 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 spoke 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

travel's history: Wherein of antres ? vast, and deserts wild, Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch

heaven, It was my bint 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. These things to





1 The first quarto reads :

“ And with it all my travel's history.” By“ my portance in my travel's history,” perhaps, is meant, my carriage or behavior in my travels, as described in my narration of thein. Portance is thus used in Coriolanus.

2 i. e. caverns (from antrum, Lat.).

3 The quarto and first folio read, “desarts idle ; ” the second folin reads, “ desarts wilile ;” and this reading was adopted by Pope.

“ Mr. Malone taxes the editor of the second folio with ignorance of Shakspeare's ineaning; and ille is triumphantly reinstated in the text It does not seem to have occurred to the commentators thit will mig.. add a featur" of some import, even to a desert; whereas ille, i. e. steriv, leaves it just as it found it, and is (without a pun) the idlest epithet which could be applied. Mr. Pope, too, had an ear for rhythm; and as his reading has some touch of Shakspeare, which the other has not, and is, besides, better poetry, I should hope that it would one day resume its proper place in the text.Gifforit. Voles on Sejrnus. Ben Jonsor's Works. According to the suggestion of Mr. Gifford, the reading of the second folio is here restored.

Nothing excited more universal attention than the accounts brough

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