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Enter an Officer with a Sailor.
Of A messenger from the galleys.
Now; the business?
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:
With his free duty recommends
Duke. Tis certain then for Cyprus.-
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.
Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, Iago, RODERIGO, ana
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;
Duke. Why, what's the matter?
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,
Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul proceeding,
Humbly I thank your grace.
Duke and Sen. We are very sorry for it.
[To OTHELLO Bra. Nothing, but this is so.
Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend seigniors,
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.
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.
A maiden never bold;
To vouch this, is no proof;
1 Sen. But, Othello, speak.
I do beseech you,
Fetch Desdemona hither.
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.
I do confess the vices of my blood,
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, fortur.es, 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