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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.

SCENE III. The same. A Council Chamber.

The Duke, and Senators, sitting at a table; Officers



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

1 Sen.

Indeed, they are disproportioned;

My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.
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 cases, where the aim3 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;
do not so secure me in the error,

But the main article I do approve

In fearful sense.

Sailor. [Within.] What, ho! what, ho! what, ho!

1 Pagan was a word of contempt; and the reason will appear from its etymology:-" Paganus, villanus vel inculsus; et derivatur a pagus quod est villa. Et quicunque habitat in villa est paganus. Præterea quicunque est extra civitatem Dei, i. e. ecclesiam, dicitur paganus; anglice, a paynim."—Ortus Vocabulorum, 1528.

2 Composition for consistency. News was considered of the plural number by our ancestors.

3 Aim is guess, conjecture. The quarto reads, "they aim reports." The meaning appears to be, "In these cases where conjecture tells the tale."

.טיוי זיני

Enter an Officer with a Sailor.

Off. A messenger from the galleys.

Now; the business?
Sailor. The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes ;
So was I bid report here to the state,
By seignior Angelo.

Duke. How say you by this change?
1 Sen. This cannot be,

By no assay of reason;1 'tis 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 brace,3

But altogether lacks the abilities

That Rhodes is dressed in ;-if we make thought of this,

We must not think the Turk is so unskilful,

To leave that latest which concerns him first;

Neglecting an attempt of ease, and gain,


To wake, and wage, a danger profitless.]

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

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious, Steering with due course towards the isle of Rhodes, Have there injointed them with an after-fleet.

1 Sen. Ay, so I thought.-How many, as you guess? Mess. Of thirty sail; and now do they restem Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance Their purposes toward Cyprus.-Seignior Montano, Your trusty and most valiant servitor,

1 “Bring it to the test, it will be found counterfeit.”

2 That he may carry it with less dispute.

3 i. e. in such state of defence. To arm was called to brace on the armor. The seven following lines were added since the first edition in quarto, 1622.

4 To wake is to undertake. To wage law (in the common acceptation) seems to be to follow, to urge, drive on, or prosecute the law or lawsuits.

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

Duke. Tis certain then for Cyprus.-
Marcus Lucchesé, 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.


Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you Against the general enemy Ottoman.2

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



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.4
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 even Moors, in their wars.

3 Steevens would read this line thus:

"Raised me from bed; nor doth the general care


omitting 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. Det Maleficii et Herbarie.

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

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Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul proceeding, Hath thus beguiled 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 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 Hath this extent, no more. Rude 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 action 5 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."

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



A maiden never bold;

Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion
Blushed at herself;1 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,3

And let her speak of me before her father.
If you do find me foul in her report,
The trust, the office, I do hold of



Not only take away, but let your sentence
Even fall upon my life.

Fetch Desdemona hither.

Duke. Oth. Ancient, conduct them; you best know the place.- [Exeunt IAGO and Attendants.

And till she come, as truly 5 as to Heaven

1 Shakspeare, like other writers of his age, frequently uses the person al 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


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