Page images


Oth. The servants of the duke and my lieutenant.
The goodness of the night upon you, friends!
What is the news?

The duke does greet you, general ;
And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,
Even on the instant.

What is the matter, think you ?
Cas. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine ;
It is a business of some heat: the gallies
Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
This very night, at one another's heels;
And many of the consuls, rais'd, and met,
Are at the duke's already: You have been hotly call’d for;
When, being not at your lodging to be found,
The senate hath sent about three several quests,
To search you out.

'Tis well I am found by you.
I will but spend a word here in the house,


[Erit. Cas.

Ancient, what makes he here?
Iago. He's married.
Cas. To whom ?

Re-enter OTHELLO.
Iago. Marry, to—Come, captain, will you go?

Have with you.
Cas. Here comes another troop to seek for you.
Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and Officers of night, with torches ana

Iago. It is Brabantio :-general, be advis’d;
He comes to bad intent.

Hola! stand there !
Rod. Signior, it is the Moor.

Down with him, thief!

[They draw on both sides Iago. You, Roderigo! come, sir, I am for you.

Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. -
Good signior, you shall more command with years,
Than with your weapons.

Bra. O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd my daughter ?
Thou hast enchanted her:
For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
If she in chains of magic were not bound,
Whether a maid-s0 tender, fair, and happy,
So opposite to marriage, that she shunn'd
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
Of such a thing as thou:


Thou hast practis'd on her with foul charms.
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee,
For an abuser of the world, a practiser
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant:-
Lay hold upon him: if he do resist,
Subdue him at his peril.

Hold your hands,

you of my inclining, and the rest :
Were it my cue to fight, I would have known it
Without a prompter. Where will you that I go
To answer this your charge ?

To prison: till fit tim.
Of law, and course of direct session,
Call thee to answer.

What if I do obey ?

the duke be therewith satisfied ;
Whose messengers are here about my side,
Upon some present business of the state,
To bring me to him.

'Tis true, most worthy signior
The duke's in council ; and your noble self,
· I am sure, is sent for.

How, the duke in council !
In this time of the night !-Bring him away :
Mine's not an idle cause : the duke himself,
Or any of my brothers of the state
Cannot but feel this wrong, as 'twere their own:
For if such actions may

have passage free,
Bond-slaves, and pagans, shall our statesmen be.

[Exeunt SCENE III.-The Same. A Council Chamber. The DUKE, and Senators, sitting at a table ; Officers attending.

Duke. There is no composition in these news, That gives them credit. 1st Sen.

Indeed, they are disproportion'd; My letters say, a hundred and seven gallies.

Duke. And mine a hundred and forty. 2nd Sen.

And mine, two hundred But though they jump not on a just account, (As in these cases, where the aim reports, 'Tis oft with difference,) yet do they all.confirm A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus. Duke. Nay, it is possible enough to judgment.

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.
1st Sen. Ay, so I thought :—How many, as you guess ?


Mess. Of thirty sail: and now do they re-stem
Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance
Their purposes towards Cyprus.—Signior Montano,
Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
With his free duty recommends you thus,
And prays you to believe him.

Duke. 'Tis certain then for Cyprus.-
Ist 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 general care
Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature,
That it engluts and swallows other sorrows,
And it is still itself.

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


Aye; to me:
She is abus'd, stoln 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-

Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul proceeding
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 your action.

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 of 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

Hatn 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 patience,
I will

a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
Of my whole course of love: what drugs, what charms
What conjuration, and what mighty magic,
(For such proceeding I am charg'd withal,
I won his daughter with.

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.
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; Othello, speak;
Did you by indirect and forc'd 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,
And let her speak of me before her father :

do find me foul in her report, The trust, the office, I do hold of you, Not only take away,

but let


Even fall upon my life.

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 questioned 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;
O 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 hint to speak, such was the process ;
And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grrw beneath their shoulders. These things to hear,
Would Desdemona seriously incline :
But still the house affairs would draw her thence;
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse : Which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour; and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not intentively : I did consent;
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke,
That my youth suffer’d. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs :
She swore,-In faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing surange
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful :
She wish

she had not heard it; yet she wish'd
That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me;
And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint, I spake :
She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd;
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have us’d;
Here comes the lady, let her witness it.

Enter DESDEMONA, Iago, and Attendants.
Duke. I think, this tale would win my daughter too.
Good Brabantio,
Take up this mangled matter at the best :
Men do their broken weapons rather use,
Than their bare hands.

I pray you, hear her speak :
If she confess, that she was half the wooer,

« PreviousContinue »