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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 warlike brace,
But altogether lacks the abilities
That Rhodes is dress’d in: if we make thought of

this,
We must not think, the Turk is so unskilful,
To leave that latest which concerns him first;
Neglecting an attempt of ease, 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 toward the isle of Rhodes, Have there injointed them with an after fleet. i Sen. Ay, so I thought:-How many, as you

guess

s? Mess. Of thirty sail : and now do they re-stem Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance Their purposes toward Cyprus.—Signior Montano, Your trusty and most valiant servitor, With his free duty recommends

you thús,

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6 By no assay of reason ;] Bring it to the test, examine it by reason as we examine metals by the assay, it will be found counterfeit by all trials.

with more facile question--] That is, he may carry it with less dispute, with less opposition.

warlike brace,] Ştate of defence. To arm was called to brace on the armour.

9 To wake, and wage,] To wage here, as in many other places in Shakspeare, signifies to fight, to combat.

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And prays you to believe him.

Duke: "f'is certain then for Cyprus.
Marcus Lucchesé, 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.

Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, Iago, RODERIGO,

and Officers. Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ

-you Against the general enemy Ottoman. I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior;

: [To BRABANTIO. We lack'd 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 rais'd me from my bed; nor doth the generał

care

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Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature,
That it ongluts and swallows other sorrows,
And it is still itself. n.
Duke.

Why, what's the matter?
Bra. My daughter! 0, my daughter?
Sen.

Dead? - Bras:?!!

Ay, to me;
She is abus'd, stol'n from me, and corrupted
By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks :
For nature so preposterously to err,
Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,
Sans witchcraft could not

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wish him ---] i.e. recommend, desire him."

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your action.

Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul pro

ceeding, Hath thus beguild your daughter of herself, 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 Stood in 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 & 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 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, And little bless'd with the set phrase of peace; For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, they have us’d 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 pa

tience, I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver

- Stood in your action.] Were the man exposed to your charge or accusation.

3 The very head and front of my offending -] The main, the whole, unextenuated.

* Their dearest action -].i. e. their most important action.

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Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what

charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magick,
(For such proceeding I am charg'd withal,)
I won his daughter with.
· Bra.

A maiden never bold;
Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion
Blush'd at herself; And she,-in spite of nature,
Of years, of country, credit, every thing,
To fall in love with what she fear'd to look on?
It is a judgment maim'd, 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 conjur’d to this effect,
He wrought upon her.
Duke.

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.

i 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 ?
Oth.

I do beseech you,
Send for the lady to the Sagittary,
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,

1

5

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overt test,] Open proofs, external evidence. Of modern seeming,] Weak show of slight appearance.

the Sagittary,] The Sagittary means the sign of the fictitious creature so called, i. e. an animal compounded of man and horse, and armed with a bow and quiver.

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Not only take away, but let

but let your sentence Even fall upon my life. ; Duke.

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

[Exeunt Iago and Attendants. And, till she come, as truly as to heaven 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 lov’d me; oft invited me; Still question'd me the story of my life, From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes, That I have pass'd. 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 antreso vast, and desarts 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. These things to

hear,

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8 And portance] And behaviour.

antres-] Caves and dens.
men whose heads
grow

beneath their shoulders,] Of these men there is an account in the interpolated travels of Mandeville, a book of that VOL, IX.

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