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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.

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As if the ftrings were thine,-shouldst know of 10 That never fet a squadron in the field,

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Nor the divifion of a battle knows

More than a fpinfter; unless the bookish theoric,
Wherein the toged confuls 5 can propofe

As masterly as he mere prattle, without practice,
Is all his soldiership. But he, fir, had the election:
And I,-of whom his eyes had feen the proof,
At Rhodes, at Cyprus; and on other grounds
Chriftian and heathen, must be be-lee'd and calm'd
By debtor and creditor, this counter-cafter";
20 He, in good time, muft his lieutenant be,

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.

3 On

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

with counters.

3 X 2

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Whip me fuch honest knaves 4: Others there are,
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves;
And, throwing but fhows of fervice on their lords,
Do well thrive by them, and, when they have lin'd[25]
their coats,

Do themfelves homage: thefe fellows have fome
And fuch a one I do profefs myself.

For, Gr,

It is as fure as you are Roderigo,

Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:
In following him, I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But feeming fo, for my peculiar end:
For when my outward action doth demonftrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.

Bra. What, have you loft your wits?

Rod. Moft reverend fignior, do you know my

Bra. Not I; What are you?
Rod. My name is-Roderigo.
Bra. The worse welcome :

I have charg'd thee, not to haunt about my doors:
In honeft plainnefs thou haft heard me say,
My daughter is not for thee: and now, in madness,
30 Being full of supper, and diftempering draughts,
Upon malicious bravery, doft thou come
To ftart my quiet.

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|

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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.


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feech you,

If 't be your pleasure, and most wife confent,
(As partly, I find, it is) that your fair daughter,
At this odd even and dull watch o' the night,
Tranfported-with no worse nor better guard,
But with a knave of common hire, a gondalier,-
To the grofs clafps of a lafcivious Moor:-
If this be known to you, and your allowance,
We then have done you bold and faucy wrongs;
But, if you know not this, my manners tell me,
We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe,
That, from the fenfe of all civility,

I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:
Your daughter,-if you have not given her leave,--
I say again, hath made a gross revolt;
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes,
To an extravagant 2 and wheeling stranger,

Of here and every where: Straight fatisfy yourself:
If the be in her chamber, or your house,
Let loose on me the justice of the state
For thus deluding you.

Bra. Strike on the tinder, ho!

Give me a taper;-call up all my people :-
This accident is not unlike my dream,
Belief of it oppresses me already :-
Light, I fay! light!

Iago. Farewell; for I must leave you:
It feems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
To be produc'd (as, if I stay, I shall)
Against the Moor: For, I do know, the state,―
However this may gall him with some check,-
Cannot with safety cast 3 him; for he's embark'd
With fuch loud reafon to the Cyprus' war,
(Which even now ftands in act) that, for their fouls,
Another of his fathom they have not,
To lead their business: in which regard,
Though I do hate him as I do hell pains,
Yet, for neceffity of prefent life,

I must fhew out a flag and sign of love,
Which is indeed but fign. That you shall surely
find him,

Lead to the Sagittary the rais'd search;
And there will I be with him. So, farewell.

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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
of the blood!--

10 Fathers, from hence truft not your daughters' minds
By what you fee them act.-Are there mot charms,
By which the property of youth and maidhood
May be abus'd5? Have you not read, Roderigo,
Of fome fuch thing?



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.

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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.


2 Ex

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.

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From men of royal fiege'; and my demerits 2
May speak, unbonnetted 3, to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reach'd: For know, Iago,
But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoufed 4 free condition
Put into circumfcription and confine

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,
Shall manifeft me rightly. Is it they?

Iago. By Janus, I think no.

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

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

Otb. What is the matter, think you?

Caf. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine;
It is a business of fome heat: the gallies
Have fent a dozen fequent meffengers
This very night at one another's heels;
And many of the confuls 5, 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 fenate hath fent about three feveral quests,
To fearch you out.

Oth. 'Tis well I am found by you.

I will but spend a word here in the house,
And go with you.


Caf. Ancient, what makes he here?
Jago. 'Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land-
carrack 7;

If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.

Caf. I do not understand.

Jago. He's married.

Caf. To who?

Re-enter Othello.


Bra. Down with him, thief!

[They draw on both fides.

Iago. You, Roderigo! come, fir, I am for you.
Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew
will ruft them.-

Good fignior, you shall more command with years,
Than with your weapons.

Bra. O thou foul thief! where haft thou stow'd
my daughter?

10 Damn'd as thou art, thou haft enchanted her:
For I'll refer me to all things of fenfe,

If fhe in chains of magic were not bound,
Whether a maid-fo tender, fair, and happy,
So oppofite to marriage, that she shunn'd
15 The wealthy curled 10 darlings of our nation,-
Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
Run from her guardage to the footy bofom
Of such a thing as thou; to fear 11, not to delight.
Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense,

20 That thou haft practis'd on her with foul charms;
Abus'd her delicate youth with drugs, or minerals,
That weaken motion 12 :-I'll have it difputed on;
'Tis probable, and palpable to thinking.
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee,
25 For an abufer of the world, a practifer
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant ;-
Lay hold upon him; if he do resist,
Subdue him at his peril.

Oth. Hold your hands,

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

Bra. To prifon; 'till fit time

35 Of law, and course of direct feffion,
Call thee to answer.

Oth. What if I do obey?

How may the duke be therewith fatisfied;
Whofe meffengers are here about my fide,
40 Upon fome present business of the state,
To bring me to him?

Offi. 'Tis true, moft worthy fignior,
The duke's in council; and your noble self,'
I am fure, is fent for.

Iago. Marry, to-Come, captain, will you go? 45 Bra. How! the duke in council!
Oth. Have with you 3.

Caf. Here comes another troop to feek for you.
Enter Brabantio, Roderigo, with Officers.
Jago. It is Brabantio:-general, be advis'd;
He comes to bad intent.

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.

10 Curled

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.



A Council-chamber.

Duke and Senators, fitting.

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Duke. There is no composition in thefe news, 5 That gives them credit.

1 Sen. Indeed, they are difproportion'd;
My letters fay, a hundred and seven gallies.
Duke. And mine, a hundred and forty.
2 Sen. And mine, two hundred :
But though they jump not on a just account,
(As in these cafes where they aim 2 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;
I do not fo fecure me in the error,
But the main article I do approve
In fearful fenfe.

Sailor within.] What ho! what ho! what ho!
Enter an Officer, with a Sailor.

Offi. A meffenger from the gallies.
Duke. Now? the business?

Sail. The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes ;
So was I bid report here to the ftate,

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
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 3 bear it,
For that it stands not in such warlike brace4,
But altogether lacks the abilities

That Rhodes is dressed in :-if we make thought

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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,
Your trusty and most valiant fervitor,

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

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,
Hath rais'd me from my bed; nor doth the ge-
neral care

Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Is of fo flood-gate and o'er-bearing nature,
That it engluts and swallows other forrows,
And yet is still itself.

Duke. Why, what's the matter?

Bra. My daughter! O, my daughter!

Sen. Dead?

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,

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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.

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