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

Dúke. 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 !


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

“Write from us to him, post, post-haste, dispatch." 2 It was part of the policy of the Venetian state to employ strangers, and ven Moors, in their wars. 3 Steevens would read this line thus:

“Raised me from bed; nor doth the general careomitting 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 del Malefico," cap. xvii. Dei Maleficii et Herbarie.


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

Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul proceeding,
Hath thus beguiled your daughter of herself,

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 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
Hath this extent, no more.

Řude am I in my speech,
And little blessed with the set 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
Of 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.6

1 This line is not in the first quarto.
2 “ Were the man exposed to your charge or accusation."
3 The main, the whole, unextenuated.
4 The folio reads, “ soft phrase of peace.”
5 That is, in modern language, their best exertion.

6 The word with, supplied in the second folio, is wanting in the older copies.


A maiden never bold;
Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion
Blushed at herself;and she,-in spite of nature,
Of years, of 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,
And let her speak of me before her father.

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 fall upon my life. Duke.

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 blood,

I do confess the vices of
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


my life, From year to year ; the battles, sieges, fortunes, 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,3 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


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 them. Portance is thus used in Coriolanus.

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

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

“Mr. Malone taxes the editor of the second folio with ignorance of Shakspeare's meaning; and idle is triumphantly reinstated in the text. It does not seem to have occurred to the commentators that wild might add a feature of some import, even to a desert; whereas idle, i. e. sterile, 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.”Gifford. Notes on Sejanus. Ben Jonson's Works. According to the suggestion of Mr. Gifford, the reading of the second folio is here restored.

4 Nothing excited more universal attention than the accounts brought

Would Desdemona seriously incline:
But still the house affairs would draw her thence;
Which ever as she could with haste despatch,
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 suffered. (My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs :)
She swore 2-In faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing

'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful;
She wished she had not heard it; yet she wished
That Heaven had made her such a man: she thanked me;
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake;
She loved me for the dangers I had passed ;
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used;
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.

by sir Walter Raleigh, on his return from his celebrated voyage to Guiana, in 1595, of the cannibals, amazons, and especially of the nation

whose heads

beneath their shoulders." See his Narrative in Hackluyts Voyages, vol. iii. ed. 1600, fol. p. 652, et seq. p. 677, &c. These extraordinary reports were universally credited.

1 Intention and attention were once synonymous.
2 To aver upon faith or honor was considered swearing.

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