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Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,1
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.2
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,
The very head and front of my offending 3
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
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;
To fall in love with what she feared to look on!
Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
He wrought upon her.
To vouch this, is no proof;
Did you by indirect and forced courses
Subdue and poison this young maid's affections?
I do beseech you,
Fetch Desdemona hither. Oth. Ancient, conduct them; you best know the place.- [Exeunt IAGO and Attendants.
And till she come, as truly 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
I do confess the vices of my blood,
So justly to your grave ears I'll present
Duke. Say it, Othello.
Oth. Her father loved me; oft invited me;
I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
Of hair-breadth scapes i' the imminent deadly breach;
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
Wherein of antres2 vast, and deserts wild,3
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,
It was my hint to speak, such was the process;
The anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders.
1 The first quarto reads:-
These things to
"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;
She swore 2-In faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful;
She wished she had not heard it; yet she wished
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and Attendants.
Duke. I think this tale would win my daughter too.— Good Brabantio,
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
See his Narrative in Hackluyt's Voyages, vol. iii. ed. 1600, fol. p. 652, et seq. p. 677, &c. These extraordinary reports were universally
1 Intention and attention were once synonymous.
2 To aver upon faith or honor was considered swearing.
Men do their broken weapons
I pray you, hear her speak;
If she confess that she was half the wooer,
Light on the man!-Come hither, gentle mistress;
Where most you owe obedience?
I do perceive here a divided duty.
My noble father,
To you I am bound for life and education;
How to respect you; you are the lord of duty;
I here do give thee that with all my heart,
For thy escape would teach me tyranny,
When remedies are past, the griefs are ended,
Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
1 i. e. "let me speak as yourself would speak, were you not too much heated with passion."-Sir J. Reynolds.
2 Grise. This word occurs again, in the same sense, in Timon of Athens