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1. Sen. This cannot be,
By no assay of reason; ʼtis 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 braces,
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 firit ;
Neglecting an attempt of ease, and gain,
To wake, and wage, a danger profitless.

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

Enter a Messenger.
Mes. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,
Steering with due course toward the ille of Rhodes,
Have there injointed them with an after fleet.

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

Mes. Of thirty fail : and now do they re-stem : Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance Their purposes toward Cyprus.--Signior Montano,

2 By no afay of reason ;-] Bring it to the left, examine it by reason as we examine metals by the alay, it will be found counterfeit by all trials. JOHNSON.

3 — wirb more facile question -] With less dispute; with less oppofition, MASON.

4 For tbar it ftands nat, &c.] The seven following lines are added fince the first edition. Pope.

5.- warlike brace,] State of defence. To arm was called to brace on the armour. JOHNSON.

6 To wake, and wage, a danger profillefs.] To wage here, as in many other places in Shakspeare, signifies to fight, to combat. Thus, in King Lear :

“ To wage against the enmity of the air." It took its rise from the more common expreslion, to wage war.

STEEVENS. 7 Ay, so, &c.-) This line is not in the first quarto. STEEVENS.

8 they do re.Item-] The quartos mean to read re-fterne, though in the first of them the word is mispelt. STEEVENS. VOL. IX



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.-
Marcus Lucchesé', is not he in town?

1. Sen. He's now in Florence. Duke. Write from us; with him, poft, poft-hafte dis

patch. 1. Sen. Here comes Brabantio, and the valiant Moor, Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, Iago, RODERIGO, and

Oficers. Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you Against the general enemy Ottoman 3. I did not see you ; welcome, gentle signior ;

[19 Bra. 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'er-bearing nature,

9 And prays you to believe bim.] He intreats you not to deubt be trutb of Ibis intelligence. JOHNSON.

· Marcus Lucchese,] The old copies have Luccicos. Mr. Steevens made the correction. MALONE.

- wish bim, poft, post-haste dispatch.] i, e. tell him we wish him to make all poffible bafte. Poft-bafte is before in this play used adjectively :

“ And he requires your hafte, post-hafte appearance." All messengers in the time of Shakipeare were enjoined, Hafte bafte; for thy life, post baste." The reading of the text is that of the quarto, 1622, The folio reads :

« Write from us to him, post, post-hafte dispatch." MALONE. 3 Valiant Othello, we must fraight employ you

Against the general enemy Ottoman.j It is part of the policy of the Venetian state never to entruit the command of an army to a native. “ To exclude, therefore,” (says Contareno, as translated by Lewkenor, 4to, 1599,) “out of our estate the danger or occasion of any such ambitious enterprises, our ancestors held it a better course to defend the dominions on the continent with foreign mercenary soldiers, than with their homebred citizens." Again : “Their charges and yearly occasions of disbursement are likewise very great; for alwaies they do entertain in honourable fort with great provision a capraine generall, who alwaies is a franger borne." MALONE. 4 Take bold -[ The first quarto reads, Take any hold. STIEVENS.



That it engluts and swallows other forrows,
And it is still itself.

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

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

s By Spells and medicines bougbe of mountebanks: ] Rymer has ridi. culed this circumstance as unbecoming (both for its weakness and superftition) the gravity of the accuser, and the dignity of the tribunal; but his criticism only exposes his own ignorance. The circumstance was not only exactly in character, but urged with the greatest address, as the thing chiefly to be insisted on. For, by the Venetian law, the giving love-potions was very criminal, as Shakspeare without question well understood. Thus the law, De i maleficii et ber. barie, cap. 17. of the Code, intitled, Della promiffion del male. ficio. “ Statuimo etiamdio, che. se alcun homo, o femina, harra fatto “ maleficii, iquali se dimandano vulgarmente amatorie, o veramente « alcuni altri maleficii, che alcun homo o femina se havefson in odio, “ fia frusta et bollado, et che hara consegliado patisca simile pena.” And therefore in the preceding scene Brabantio calls them,

- arts inbibited, and out of warrant. WARBURTON. Though I believe Shakspeare knew no more of this Venetian law than I do, yet he was well acquainted with the edicts of that sapient prince king James the first, against

practisers Of arts inhibited and out of warrant. STEEVENS. See p. 462, n. 4. Malone. 6 Being not, &c.] This line is wanting in the first quarto.

STEEVENS 7 For nature so preposterou by to err

Sans witchcraft could nor.] Omit to, says Mr, Mason," and then the sentence will be completc.'

Omiffion is at all times the most dangerous mode of emendation, and here assuredly is unnecessary. We have again and again had occafion to observe, that Shakspeare frequently begins to construct a sentence in one mode, and ends it in ano:her. See p. 239, n.6. Here he uses could not, as if he had written, bas not be power or capacity to, &c. It is not in nature so to err; the knows not how to do it.



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 8

Bra. Humbly I thank your grace.
Here is the man, this Moor; whom now, it seems,
Your special mandate, for the ftate 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 fo.

Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors, My very noble and approv'd good matters, – 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;

8 Stood in your a&tion.] Were the man exposed to your charge or accufation. JOHNSON.

ý' The very bead and front of my offending-] The main, the wbolez unextenuated. JOHNSON. A fimilar expression is found in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590:

" The man that in the forebead of his fortunes

“ Beares figures of renowne and miracle." Again, in Troilus and Creffida:

“ So rich advantage of a promis'd glory,

“ As smiles upon the forebead of this action." MALONE. 1 And little bless'd witb obe set pbrase of peace;] Thus the quarto, 1622. The folio reads--with the soft phrase of peace. Soft may have been used for fill and calm, as oppoled to the clamours of war. So, in Coriolanus :

Say to them,
“ Thou art their soldier, and, being bred in broils,
“ Haft not the soft way, which thou doft confess

• Were fit for thee to use.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :

'Tis a worthy deed,
« And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
" To Sofe and gentle speech," MALONE.


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 magick,
(For such proceeding I am charg'd withal,)
I won his daughter 3.

Bra. A maiden never bold;
Of spirit fo ftill and quiet, that her motion
Bluħ'd at herself" ; And The,-in spite of nature,
Of years, of country, credit, every thing,-

To fall in love with what the 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,

? Their dearest a&tion -] 1. e. their most important action. See V 1. VIII. p. 130, n. 6. "MALONE,

I hould give these words a more natural signification, and suppose that they mean-their favourite action, the adion moit dear 10 them. Othello says afterwards :

I do agnize
“ A natural and prompt alacrity

« I find in hardness." MASON. 3 1 won bis daugbrer,] i. c. I won his daughter with: and so all the modern editors read, adopting an interpolation made by the editor of the second folio, who was wholly unacquainted with our poet's metre and phraseology. In Timon of Albens we have the same elliptical expression :

* Who had the world as my confectionary,
“ The mouths, the tongues, the eyes, and hearts of men,

" At duty, more than I could frame employment (for). See also Vol. VIII. p. 472, n. 3. where several other instances of a fimilar phraseology are collected. MALONE.

4 Blush'd at herself;] Mr. Pope reads--at itself, but without necessity. Shakspeare, like other writers of his age, frequently uses the personal, instead of the neutral pronoun. STEEVENS.


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