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

attending Duke. There is no composition in these news, That gives them credit. 1 Sen.

Indeed, they are disproportion'd; My letters say, 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 cases, where the aim 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 so secure me in the error, But the main article I do approve In fearful sense.

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

Enter an Officer, with a Sailor. Off. A messenger from the gallies. Duke.

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

Duke. How say you by this change? 1 Sen.

This cannot be,

4 There is no composition--] for consistency, concordancy.

5 where the aim reports,] Where conjecture or suspicion tells the tale.

By no assay of reason;o '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,

may he with more facile question? bear it,
For that it stands not in such warlike brace,
But altogether lacks the abilities
That Rhodes is dress’d in: if we make thought of

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 toward the isle of Rhodes, Have there injointed them with an after fleet.

i Sen. Ay, so I thought: How many, as you

Mess. Of thirty sail: and now do they re-stem Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance Their

purposes toward Cyprus.-Signior Montano, Your trusty and most valiant servitor, With his free duty recommends you thus,


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By no assay of reason;] Bring it to the test, examine it by reason as we examine metals by the assay, it will be found counterfeit by all trials.

with more facile question] That is, he may carry it with less dispute, with less opposition.

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

9 To wake, and wage,] To wage here, as in many other places in Shakspeare, signifies to fight, to combat.


And prays you to believe him.

Duke. 'Tis certain then for Cyprus.Marcus Lucchese, 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




and Officers. Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ

you Against the general enemy Ottoman. I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior;

[To BRABANTIO. 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


Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature,
That it engluts and swallows other sorrows,
And it is still itself.

Why, what's the matter?
Bra. My daughter! O, my daughter?


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

1-wish him-] 1. e, recommend, desire him.


Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul pro

ceeding, 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.” Bra.

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 & 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 signiors, My very noble and approv'd 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 bless'd with the set phrase of peace; For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith, Till now some nine moons wasted, they have us’d Their dearest action4 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 pa

tience, I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver


Stood in your action.] Were the man exposed to your charge or accusation.

: The very head and front of my offending-] The main, the whole, unextenuated.

Their dearest action] i.e. their most important action.

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 with. Bra.

A maiden never bold; Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion Blush'd at herself; And she,-in spite of nature, Of years, of country, credit, every thing, To fall in love with what she 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, That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood, Or with some dram conjur'd to this effect, He wrought upon her. Duke.

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,"
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




overt test,] Open proofs, external evidence.
Of modern seeming,] Weak show of slight appearance.

the Sagittary,] The Sagittary means the sign of the fictitious creature so called, i. e. an animal compounded of man and horse, and armed with a bow and quiver,


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