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Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Muficians, Sailors, and Attendants.
SCENE, for the firft At, in Venice; during the rest of the Play, in Cyprus.
As if the ftrings were thine,-shouldst know of 10 That never fet a squadron in the field,
Nor the divifion of a battle knows
More than a fpinfter; unless the bookish theoric,
As masterly as he mere prattle, without practice,
thy hate. [of the city, 15 Tag. Defpife me if I do not. Three great ones In perfonal fuit to make me his lieutenant, Oft capp'd to him; and, by the faith of man, I know my price, I am worth no worse a place : But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
2 i. e. certainly, in truth. Obfolete.
The story is taken from Cynthio's Novels. thefe lines Dr. Johnson observes, “This is one of the paffages which must for the present be resigned to corruption and obfcurity. I have nothing that I can, with any approach to confidence, propofe." Mr. Tyrwhitt ingeniously proposes to read, "damn'd in a fair life;" and is of opinion, that " Shakfpeare alludes to the judgment denounced in the gospel against those of whom all men ̧ Speak well." He adds, that the character of Caffio is certainly fuch, as would be very likely to draw upon him all the peril of this denunciation, literally understood. Well-bred, easy, sociable, good-natured; with abilities enough to make him agreeable and useful, but not fufficient to excite the envy of his equals, or to alarm the jealoufy of his fuperiors. It may be obferved too, that Shakspeare has thought it proper to make Iago, in feveral other paffages, bear his teftimony to the amiable qualities of his rival." 4 Theoric, for theory. 5 Confuls, for counsellors. It was anciently the practice to reckon up fums And
3 X 2
Whip me fuch honest knaves 4: Others there are,
Do themfelves homage: thefe fellows have fome
It is as fure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:
Bra. What, have you loft your wits?
Rod. Moft reverend fignior, do you know my
Bra. Not I; What are you?
I have charg'd thee, not to haunt about my doors:
Rod. Sir, fir, fir,
Bra. But thou must needs be fure,
35 My fpirit, and my place, have in them power To make this bitter to thee.
Rod. What a full fortune 5 does the thick lips|40|
Rod. Patience, good fir.
Bra. What tell'ft thou me of robbing? this is My houfe is not a grange 7.
Rod. Moft grave Brabantio,
In fimple and pure foul I come to you.
Iago. Sir, you are one of thofe, that will not ferve God, if the devil bid you. Because we come to do you fervice, you think we are ruffians. 45 You'll have your daughter cover'd with a Barbary horfe; you'll have your nephews neigh to you: you'll have courfers for coufins, and gennets ↳ for germans.
Rod. Here is her father's houfe; I'll call aloud. Iago. Do; with light timorous accent, and dire 501 yell,
As when, by night and negligence, the fire
Bra. What profane 1° wretch art thou?
Iago. I am one, fir, that comes to tell you, your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.
1 It has been obferved, that the Scots, when they compare perfon to person, use this exclamation. 2 i. e. by recommendation from powerful friends. 3 The meaning is, Do I ftand within any fuch terms of propinquity or relation to the Moor, as that it is my duty to love him? 4 Knave is here used for fervant, but with a mixture of fly contempt. 5 Full fortune may mean a complete piece of good fortune. To owe is in ancient language, to own, to poffefs. 6 i. e. broken. 7 That is, "You are in a populous city, not in a lone boufe, where a robbery might easily be committed." Grange is ftriatly and properly the farm of a monastery, where the religious repofited their corn. But in Lincolnshire, and in other northern counties, they call every lone house, or farm which stands folitary, a grange. Nephew, in this inftance, has the power of the Latin word nepos, and fignifies a grandfon, or any lineal defcendant, however remote. 9 A jennet is a Spanish horse. 10 That is, what wretch of grofs and licentious language? 11 This is an ancient proverbial expreffion in the French language,
whence Shakspeare probably borrowed it.
If 't be your pleasure, and most wife confent,
I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:
Of here and every where: Straight fatisfy yourself:
Bra. Strike on the tinder, ho!
Give me a taper;-call up all my people :-
Iago. Farewell; for I must leave you:
I must fhew out a flag and sign of love,
Lead to the Sagittary the rais'd search;
How did't thou know 'twas she ?-O, thou deceiv'ft me
Paft thought!-What faid fhe to you?-Get more
5 Raife all my kindred.-Are they marry'd, think
Rod. Truly, I think, they are.
Bra. O heaven!-how got the out?-O treafon
10 Fathers, from hence truft not your daughters' minds
Rod. Yes, fir; I have, indeed.
Bra. Call up my brother.-O, 'would you had had her!
Some one way, fome another.-Do you know Where we may apprehend her and the Moor? Rod. I think, I can discover him; if you please To get good guard, and go along with me.
Bra. Pray you lead on. At every house I'll call;
I may command at moft:-Get weapons, ho! 25 And raife fome fpecial officers of might.-On, good Roderigo; I'll deferve your pains.
Oth. 'Tis better as it is.
Iago. Nay, but he prated,
40 And spoke fuch fcurvy and provoking terms Against your honour,
That, with the little godlinefs I have,
I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray you, fir, Are you fast marry'd? for, be sure of this,-45 That the magnifico 7 is much belov'd; And hath, in his effect, a voice potential
As double as the duke's: he will divorce you; Or put upon you what restraint and grievance The law (with all his might to enforce it on) 50 Will give him cable.
Oth. Let him do his fpite:
My fervices, which I have done the figniory, Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know, (Which, when I know that boasting is an honour, 1551 fhall promulgate) I fetch my life and being
1 Dr. Johnson obferves, that the even of night is midnight, the time when night is divided into even parts. Mr. Steevens thinks that odd is here ambiguously used, as it fignifies strange, uncouth, or unwonted; and as it is opposed to even, but acknowledges that the expreffion is very harsh. travagant is here used in the fignification of wandering. 3 That is, dimifs him; reje him.
4 Defpifed time, is time of no value. 5 i. e. by which the faculties of a young virgin may be infatuated, and made fubject to illufions and to false imagination. Stuff of the confcience is, fubflance, or effence, of the conscience. 7 The chief men of Venice are by a peculiar name called Magnifici, i. e. magnificoes. s Double has here its natural fenfe. The prefident of every deliberative aflembly has a double voice. For example: the lord mayor in the court of aldermen has a double voice.
From men of royal fiege'; and my demerits 2
For the fea's worth. But, look! what lights come
Enter Caffio, with others.
Iago. These are the raised father, and his friends;
You were beft go in.
Oth. Not I: I must be found;
My parts, my title, and my perfect foul,
Iago. By Janus, I think no.
Orb. The fervants of the duke, and my lieutenant.
Caf. The duke does greet you, general;
Otb. What is the matter, think you?
Caf. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine;
When, being not at your lodging to be found,
Oth. 'Tis well I am found by you.
I will but spend a word here in the house,
Caf. Ancient, what makes he here?
If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.
Caf. I do not understand.
Jago. He's married.
Caf. To who?
Bra. Down with him, thief!
[They draw on both fides.
Iago. You, Roderigo! come, fir, I am for you.
Good fignior, you shall more command with years,
Bra. O thou foul thief! where haft thou stow'd
10 Damn'd as thou art, thou haft enchanted her:
If fhe in chains of magic were not bound,
20 That thou haft practis'd on her with foul charms;
Oth. Hold your hands,
30 Both you of my inclining, and the reft:
Bra. To prifon; 'till fit time
35 Of law, and course of direct feffion,
Oth. What if I do obey?
How may the duke be therewith fatisfied;
Offi. 'Tis true, moft worthy fignior,
Iago. Marry, to-Come, captain, will you go? 45 Bra. How! the duke in council!
Caf. Here comes another troop to feek for you.
Oth. Hola! ftand there!
Red. Signior, it is the Moor.
i. e. men who have fat upon royal thrones.
3 i. e. without taking the cap off.
In this time of the night!-Bring him away; Mine's not an idle caufe: the duke himself, Or any of my brothers of the ftate, Cannot but feel this wrong, as 'twere their own: 50 For if fuch actions may have paffage free, Bond-flaves, and Pagans, fhall our statesmen be. [Excunt.
2 Demerits here has the fame meaning as merits. 4 i. e. free from domeftic cares: a thought natural to an adventurer. 5 Confuls feems to have been commonly used for counsellors, as before in this play. 6 Quifts are Searches. 7 A carrack is a fhip of great bulk, and commonly of great value; perhaps what we now call a galleon. 8 This expreffion denotes readiness. 9 i. e. be cautious; be difcrect. is elegantly and oftentationfly dreffed. 12 Theobald propofes, and we think justly, to read, “That weaken notion, inftead of mation, i. e. that weaken her apprehenfion, right conception and idea of things, understanding, judgment, &c." Hanmer would read, perhaps with equal probability, "That waken motion;" and it is to be obferved, that Motion in a fubfequent fcene of this play is ufed in the very fenfe in which Hanmer would employ it : "But we have reafon to cool our raging mat ons, our carnal ftings, our unbitted lufts."
i. e. to terrify.
Duke and Senators, fitting.
Duke. There is no composition in thefe news, 5 That gives them credit.
1 Sen. Indeed, they are difproportion'd;
Duke. Nay, it is possible enough to judgment;
Sailor within.] What ho! what ho! what ho!
Offi. A meffenger from the gallies.
Sail. The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes ;
By fignior Angelo.
Duke. How fay you by this change? 1 Sen. This cannot be,
By no affay of reafon; 'tis a pageant,
To keep us in falfe gaze: When we confider
That Rhodes is dressed in :-if we make thought
Mef. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious, Steering with due courfe toward the ifle of Rhodes, Have there injointed them with an after-fleet.
1 Sen. Ay, fo I thought:-How many, as you guefs?
Mef. Of thirty fail: and now they do re-stem Their backward courfe, bearing with trank ap
Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Montano,
With his free duty, recommends you thus,
Duke. 'Tis certain then for Cyprus.
Marcus Lucchefé, is not he in town?
I Sen. He's now in Florence.
1 Compofition, for confiftency, concordancy.
Duke. Write from us; with him, poft, pofthatte: dispatch.
[Moor. Sen. Here comes Brabantio, and the valiant Enter Brabantio, Othello, Iago, Roderigo, and Officers.
Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
Against the general enemy Ottoman.
I did not fee you; welcome, gentle fignior; [ToBrab. 10 We lack'd your counsel and your help to-night. Bra. So did I yours: Good your grace, pardon
Neither my place, nor aught I heard of bufinefs,
Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Duke. Why, what's the matter?
Bra. My daughter! O, my daughter!
Bra. Ay, to me;
She is abus'd, ftol'n from me, and corrupted 25 By fpells and medicines bought of mountebanks: For nature fo preposterously to err,
Oth. Moft potent, grave, and reverend figniors, 45 My very noble and approv'd good masters,→→→ That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter, It is moft true; true, I have married her; The very head and front of my offending Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my fpeech, |50|And little blest with the set phrafe of peace;
For fince thefe arms of mine had seven years pith, 'Till now, fome nine moons wafted, they have us'd Their deareft action in the tented field; And little of this great world can I speak, 55 More than pertains to feats of broil and battle; And therefore little fhall I grace my cause,
In fpeaking for myfelf: Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
2 To aim is to conjeƐture.
4 i. e. State of defence. To arm was called to brace on the armour.
other places in Shakspeare, fignifies to fight, to combat.
3 i. e. more eafy endeavour.
5 To wage here, as in many
6. e. were the man expofed to your
charge or accufation. 7 That is, dear for which much is paid, whether money or labours. Dear action,
is action performed at great expence, either of eafe or fafety.