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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 griet
Is of so Acod-gate and o'er-bearing nature,
That it ingluts and swallows other sorrows,
And yet is still itself.
Duke. Why? what's the matter?
Bra. My daughter! oh, my daughter !
Bra. To me ;
She is abus'd, stolen 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
Duke. Who-e'er he be, that in this foul proceeding
Hath thus beguild your daughter of her felf,
And you of her, the bloody book of law
You shall your self 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.
All. We're very sorry for’t.
Duke. What in your own part can you say to this ?
Bra. Nothing, but this is so.
Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend figniors,
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 soft phrase of peace ;
For fince these arms of mine had seven years' Pith,
'Till now, some nine moons wasted, they have us'd
Their dearest action in the tented field ;
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broils and battle ;
And therefore little shall I grace my cause,
In speaking for my felf. Yet, by your patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver,
Of my whole course of love ; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magick,
For such proceeding I am charg'd withal,)
won his daughter with.
Bra. A maiden, 'never bold ;
Of spirit fo ftill and quiet, that her motion
Bluth'd at it self; and she, in spight 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, (8)
That will confess, Affection so could err
Against all rules of nature ; and must be driven
To find out practices of cunning hell,
Why this snould 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,
(8] It is a Judgment maim'd and most imperfc&
That will conferi, Perfe&ion so could err
Again all Rules of Nature.) Perfe&tion erring, seems a Contradi&tion in Terminis, as the Schoolmen call it. Belides, Brabantia does not blazon his Daughter out for a thing of abfolute Perfeâion; he only says, she was indued with such an extreme innate Modesty, that for her to fall in Love so prepofterouly, no sound judgment could allow, but it must be by magical Practice upon her. I have ventur'd to imagine that our Author wrote ;
That will comfoss,. Affection so could err, &c. This is entirely consonant to what Brabantio would say of her; and one of the Senators, immediately after, in his Éxamination of the Noor, thus addresses himself to him ;
But, Othello, Speak;
Did you by indirect and forced Courses
Subdue and poison this young Maid's Affe&ions, &c.
Than these thin habits and poor likelyhoods
Of modern Seeming do prefer against him.
I 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 ?
Oth. I beseech you,
Send for the lady to the Sagittary,
And let her speak of me before her father ;
do find me foul in her report,
The Trust, the Office, I do hold of you,
Not only take away, but let your Sentence
Even fall upon my life.
Duke. Fetch Desdemona hither.
[ Exeunt 'tivo or thres. Oth. Ancient, conduct them, you best know the place.
And 'till she come, as truly as to heav'n
I do confess the vices of my blood,
So juftly to your grave ears I'll present
How I did thrive in this fair lady's love,
And she in mine.
Duke. Say it, Othello.
Oth. Her father lov'd me, oft invited me;
Still question'd me the story of my life,
From year to year ; the battles, fieges, fortunes,
That I have past.
I ran it through, e'en from my boyish days,
To th' very moment that he bad me tell it :
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;
Of hair-breadth scapes in th'imminent deadly breach
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And portance in my travel's history :
Wherein of antres vaft, and desarts idle, (9)
Rough () Wherein of Antres vast and Desarts idle, bc.] Thus it is in all the old Editions: But Mr. Pope has thought fit to change L 4
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills, whose heads touch
It was my hint to speak; fuch was the process;
And of the Canibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi; and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders. All these to hear
Would Dejdemora seriously incline ;
But still the house-affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as she could with hafte dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse : which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earneft heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate ;
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not distinctively: I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of fighs :
She swore, “ In faith, 'twas ftrange, 'twas passing
“ 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful?
She withd, she had not heard it; yet she wishid,
That heav'n had made her such a man: she thank'd me,
And bad me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. On this hint I fpake,
She lov’d me for the dangers I had patt,
And I lov’d her, that she did pity them :
the Epithet. Desarts idle; in the former Editions ; (says he,) doubtless, a Corruption from wilde.
But he must pardon me, if I do not concur in thinking this so doubtless. I don't know whether Mr. Pope has observ'd it, but I know that Shakespeare, especially in Descriptions, is fond of using the more uncommen Word, in a poerick Latitude. And idle, in several other Passages, he employs in these Acceptations, wild, useless, uncultivated, &c.
This only is the witchcraft I have us'd.
Here comes the lady, let her witness it.
Enter Desdemona, Iago, and Attendants.
Dhe ke. I think, this tale would win my daughter too
up this mangled matter at the best. Men do their broken weapons rather use, Than their bare hands.
Bra. I pray you, hear her speak;
If the confess that she was half the wooer,
Destruction on my head, if my bad blame
Light on the man ! Come hither, gentle mistress,
Do you perceive in all this noble company,
most owe obedience ?
Def. My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty ;
To you I'm bound for life and education :
My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you.
You're the lord of duty ;
I'm hitherto your daughter. But here's my husband :
And so much duty as my mother shew'd
To you, preferring you before her father ;
So much I challenge, that I may profess
Due to the Moor, my lord.
Bra. God be with you: I have done.
Please it your Grace, on to the State-affairs;
I had rather to adopt a child, than get it.
Come hither, Moor :
I here do give thee That with all my heart,
Which, but thou hast already, with all my heart
I would keep from thee. For your fake, jewel, ,
I'm glad at soul I have no other child ;
For thy escape would teach me tyranny,
To hang clogs on them. I have done, my lord.
Duke. Let me speak like your self; and lay a sentence,
Which, as a grise, or step, may help these lovers
Into your favour
When remedies are paft, the griefs are ended
By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.